Improving safety on the system: Metro launches TAP to exit pilot at North Hollywood B Line station beginning May 28

 Your safety is our top priority, and we are continually testing new ways we can improve safety across our transit system. As many of you know, we recently rolled out a public safety pilot program at our Westlake MacArthur Park station that our customers tell us improved their sense of safety at that station. Now, we are launching a new pilot at North Hollywood with the goal to achieve positive outcomes by ensuring that our system is used for the purpose of travel by improving fare compliance.  

Fare evasion is a violation of our Code of Conduct and is subject to a citation or removal from the system. Everyone is required to TAP to get INTO the rail system, and we are working on ramping up compliance to that. So, beginning Tuesday, May 28 we’re launching a pilot program at the North Hollywood B Line station fare gates to see if requiring people to also tap OUT would help confirm that valid fare was paid. Tapping to exit is not new – it’s a common feature in other major transit systems across the nation, including Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) and Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority (MARTA). 

  • If you tapped your card and fare was deducted when you started your trip, tapping out will confirm fare was paid and open the fare gates.  
  • If you have not tapped your card when you started your trip, you are in violation of the Code of Conduct, and you could be warned, cited, or removed from the system. If you have a valid TAP card, your fare will be deducted when you tap out at the turnstiles, yet this still constitutes a violation. Be sure to buy or reload your TAP card before boarding.  
  • Metrolink riders may use their QR code ticket on the optic scanners to exit. 

We know that many of you have asked for increased security and fare enforcement on our system. That’s why you’ll see more Transit Security Officers (TSOs) present at the turnstiles during most hours of service. Hands-free, gated intercoms, which connect to our Rail Operations Center (ROC), will also be available.  

We also know that some of you may have questions about the Code of Conduct – what is it and how does it apply to you? The Code of Conduct is a set of rules and guidelines designed to facilitate respect for fellow riders, Metro employees, facilities, and vehicles. Its goal is to ensure that you have a safe and comfortable experience on our system. A person who violates the code can be given a no-fine warning for first-time non-serious violations, as well as citation with a fine, ejection, and exclusion. Learn more here.  

We have also increased the visible presence of our teams at North Hollywood Station. These include our Blue Shirts, who provide assistance with our Ticket Vending Machines, our Metro Ambassadors, who help riders navigate the system, connect you to resources, and report issues they see, as well as our law enforcement partners, and our Transit Security Officers (TSO) who enforce the Code of Conduct. Representatives from our LIFE (Low Income Fare is Easy) program, will also be available to enroll riders into the program. To learn more about LIFE, please visit the station in person or online to see if you qualify.    

We are listening to your feedback, and this is one of many steps that we are taking to improve safety and cleanliness on your system.   

 

60 replies

  1. As much as I was skeptical at first because my Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra seems to error a few times before it successfully works, I thought this would slow down exiting as it takes a few more seconds to exit with only a Tap card. However, I then participated and was like WOW, much less homeless and exiting was not that bad as I thought it would be. Please Metro, do this on all stations. I actually felt much safer, and I had a much better pleasant ride without smelling some nasty Homeless who has not taken a shower for like forever.

    The only problem I see is during the evening (like 9pm-ish), there are no metro police, so most people will not tap out and they leave by the emergency exit. They need to enable a very loud buzzer, so people stop using it.

  2. 1. This is a Fire Hazard
    2. There are no fare loading machines on the inside of the turnstiles and installing more would be a waste of money
    3. Turnstiles are not labeled exclusively for exit or entrance, bad crowd flow
    4. A card error will be indistinguishable from fare evasion, innocent people will be punished

    • 1. This is a Fire Hazard

      – Japanese railways have been doing this for decades now with never a fire issue. Case closed!! The fact that this is even an argument!!!

      2. There are no fare loading machines on the inside of the turnstiles and installing more would be a waste of money.

      – There is no distance based fare on the system at this time, so as long as you TAP, then there’s no issue TAPing out. *sigh*

      3. Turnstiles are not labeled exclusively for exit or entrance, bad crowd flow.

      – Again, Japanese railways have proven this not be necessarily an issue.

      4. A card error will be indistinguishable from fare evasion, innocent people will be punished.

      – No they won’t. 97% chance that if there is an error, the benefit of the doubt will be given to the passenger and life goes on. Innocent until proven guilty remember?

      • Absolutely AGREED.. They are blocking the emergency exit gates to try to funnel people into Tapping outbound. Ridiculous and the LAFD should investigate this potential life threatening situation.

  3. “If you have a valid TAP card, your fare will be deducted when you tap out at the turnstiles, yet this still constitutes a violation.” Does this mean I am still going to be fined anyway?

    • Only IF you did NOT TAP to enter. As long as you TAP to enter, then you avoid the possibility of a Fine.

  4. This is a joke! The cops at North Hollywood were watching a few guys jump over the gate and said NOTHING! While on my way to North Hollywood, a crackhead was smoking his crack on the train. I texted that Metro number with the pics and the did not respond. I posted the pics on ABC7’s Facebook page on the post about Metro Security.
    Excellent 1st day of the program Metro. I think you guys want this program to fail.

  5. What if you used your phone to tap and your phone dies ? How can you prove you tapped?

    • TAP still works even after phones go bad. This has been proven time and time again. Literally what smartphone batteries were designed for to keep in mind. Plenty of YouTube demonstrating that it still works after phone batteries die out.

      Not sure why this continues to be an excuse. It’s basic knowledge at this point.

      • This is a basic understandable question. This person is concerned about how this new program will affect them. Calm down Dave.

  6. For the Metrolink issue look at how Paris has the RER train work in portions of their metro system. Maybe ideas they have implemented would work here…Chicago also uses trains in part of their metro system… the overlap…

    Paris, Chicago, etc also have gates that are taller than people, not easy to hop. Tapping out helps catch someone who slipped through earlier in the system…this works in other systems around the world

    • The stupid and outdated laws need to change already so transit pass can be used cross-agencies. There is literally no excuse for Metrolink to not accept TAP cards at this point. The clipper card, hop card and Orca all use the same tech as TAP.

      I’ll reiterate, there’s no excuse at all.

    • Chicago has the same turnstile gates as LA. The tall rotogates (what you describe) are only used at auxiliary entrances or unmanned stations. We currently do not tap out (something the CTA should consider). Also just in the last four months the transit card has just been integrated into the regional rail system (our version of Metrolink). We love the new changes as we now no longer have to stop and get a ticket to use the regional rail system.

    • No, you just tap to get out. Other cities have been doing this for ages. So this is nothing different.

  7. Laughing at everyone who says how is this going to make Metro safer. Let’s see what other systems that uses this system. Washington DC, BART in San Francisco, Vancouver SkyTrain, London Underground, JR and Tokyo Metro Subway system, the Seoul Metro, the Taipei MRT, the Hong Kong MTR, Singapore SMRT. Our direct neighbor to the south, San Diego’s NCTD Sounder system also uses a tap-in and tap-out system. So in CA both the Bay Area and San Diego uses this system, and LA is the only idiot not using it. Everywhere also that I listed are also known for safe, clean, efficient and far better transit than we do.

    Yeah, I prefer doing what these experts are doing than all these people yelling and screaming why are we doing this like they know better than these guys. Stop whining and complaining. If these major leagues who move far more passengers than Metro are doing it, then it’s probably something you have no clue or idea about but these guys do.

    • Glad to see someone that actually gets it. I wouldn’t call LA Metro experts though, and this simple sentence says a lot about the people running the system and why no one respects it: “ If you have a valid TAP card, your fare will be deducted when you tap out at the turnstiles, yet this still constitutes a violation.” – This can easily all be solved if Metro grew a pair and implemented distance based fares already. This sentence alone is enough for people to use as an excuse to backlash against a very logical move. The agency purposely goes out of its way to add illogical meanings to their policies.

      The one valid argument though is Metrolink riders as they are stuck with QR codes because for some reason even though tap cards have been shown to work the same way in Orange County and San Diego county, the idea of transit cards on Metrolink or outside their county limits seems way too futuristic just for them, but at least Metro came up with a band-aid solution for the time being.

    • LA has a host of other challenges that those cities don’t face, but the major difference between them and LA? No one with means takes the Metro, including 99% of the people who make the decisions. As the majority of our system doesn’t even have turnstiles, I don’t see how any of this helps.

  8. This is definitely a good move, but most people who evade fares simply walk through the open gates intended for the handicapped, ignoring the actual entrances entirely. I imagine they will continue to do so, or perhaps jump or vandalize any entrance or exit that blocks them.

  9. Disabled with mobility problems I am worried that malfunction in equipment and making a mistake will be a liability for compliant citizens who will begin to be fined and sanctioned as the “low hanging fruit” of enforcement and revenue grabbing while gate jumpers still have nothing to loose bc the law doesn’t have teeth — the bold can crime in our city without much consequence. As to appearance of force: I have seen two armed peace officers standing on the corner transform my neighborhood intersection (Wilshire/Vermont) on a late night just by standing there.

  10. This policy is not about security or safety, it’s about maximizing revenue by entrapping poor people who can’t afford to pay. The lack of security allows (& effectively encourages) folks to board without fare at the start. Your failure to prevent them from boarding only encourages them to commit a misdemeanor that you seek to profit from. It’s hard to take MTA’s commitment to safety seriously.

    I ride the red line every day and it is filthy. People do not feel safe because the rules about eating and littering & soliciting are not enforced. There is little effort to keep the trains clean and criminality flourishes in the dirty environment. The trains are cleaned at 4 AM before they go into service, but by 8 AM the floor of every car is covered with spilled drinks and trash. How about actually cleaning the trash from the trains? How about installing trash receptacles at the doors of trains? Instead of going after folks for a $2 fare violation, how about having law enforcement ticket the unauthorized vendors who ride the trains selling tamales, beer, soda, chips, headphones, belts & socks? Surely security cameras have captured this illegal commerce. There should be a cleaning crew that sweeps the trains in North Hollywood & Union Station before they go back into service. How about steam cleaning the drool & beer stains from the seats, repairing the cigarette burns and removing the graffiti?

    People do not feel comfortable on the red line because it is dirty. People are apprehensive because they smell urine & are afraid to sit down on wet seats. I’ve seen people of good faith collect their trash in advance of their stop. As they exit, they look around for a place to discard it and finding none, say “F#@# it” and throw the trash on the floor as they exit the train.

    Instead of ticketing people when they reach the terminal for a $2 fare violation, why not invest in a deep clean of the system and enforce the rules? The good people of Los Angeles want a rail system they can be proud of. Put up posters that shame littering and encourage good ridership habits. Direct law enforcement to walk the trains & enforce the rules. Authorize them to ticket people selling beer or sipping it from paper bags. Why not ticket people who board in North Hollywood & take up two seats while consuming their Chinese take out and abruptly exit at 7th Street, spilling their soda & leaving their food containers behind? Give them a dustpan & broom & 100 hours of community service and put them to work sweeping garbage from the trains. The rules that prohibit food consumption & drinking alcohol have never been enforced. Neither have the rules on loud music or disruptive conduct. Why are there are no trash receptacles on the train? There’s an “anything goes” carnival atmosphere on the red line, and the proposed pilot program diverts law enforcement resources away from pro-active safety considerations into a punitive “gotcha” program designed to catch poor people for $2 fare violations. It does nothing to fix the miserable experience of riding a dirty train.

    I bring up a lot of practical, common sense issues. MTA needs to rethink the rules of ridership & make some compromises to help us all get along. Right now, the ban on eating and drinking isn’t enforced, people walk the trains selling sodas, and there’s only two tiny trash cans on the train platforms. The only public restrooms are at Union Station. If you’re going to allow people to make a living as vendors at the train stations and on the train, there needs to be a process for authorizing them to operate and there needs to be a way to collect the large volume of trash that accumulates. Other cities around the world do not have this problem. Right now, the way the system is set up forces people to litter. Most commuters are willing to do their part to keep the train cars clean. Riders want to be responsible, but MTA has designed a system that makes it difficult for people to follow the rules. It’s a false flag to blame the mess on LA’s large homeless population. The truth is urban planners did not expect Los Angeles to embrace rail to the degree it has. As a result, MTA needs to make policy accommodation for the increased ridership of the red line. It needs to rethink rules of ridership that are reasonable, enforceable and sustainable. Going forward, MTA should develop policy that is more facilitative and relies less on reactionary punitive measures. They should be pro-active and fully engage the public in good ridership practices & allocate funds towards maintenance & enforcement of existing littering statutes. Crime is less likely to flourish when there’s an officer riding every train. Crime is less likely to flourish when every train is clean.

  11. Tapping is ok, I just think it will make commuting time a lot longer, not to mention the people that will try to piggyback off of other people just to get in and out in a hurry. Metro can’t stop everybody, there’s way too many people coming and going every single day. How are they going to catch those that don’t tap in and out????

    • How?
      It will take the exact same amount of time as you tap in, which is like 1.5 sec max. I’m really trying to understand that logic here.

  12. I think this is a great idea however, I wish there was the system would be updated to be able to tap with phones instead of cards. Having traveled to cities such as New York and Amsterdam, it is much more convenient to be able to tap my phone for payment instead of having to download an app or reload a card in order to use public transportation.

    • Umm… we’ve been able to tap using our phones and apple watches for a few years now on Metro. Ive been doing it since 2022. I got rid of all my tap cards.

    • You don’t need the app to reload the card, you can directly set up a digital TAP from the wallet app on your phone. The only reason for the app is load passes onto your digital tap card. Heck, you can reload cash as well.

  13. Make sure all the pay stations work and the screens are actually VISIBLE – often you can’t pay cash or you can’t even see what’s happening on the screen.

  14. I’m happy to see Metro trying any idea to decrease fare avoidance. Thank you.

  15. Metro has dropped the ball for over the last 13 years and has allowed these grievances to persist and will then blame the police for not stepping up. Unfortunately, Metro refuses to enforce their own rules and make the partnerships with the local police agencies difficult. Having attended some of the Metro board meetings, I can say the attitude towards the police is negative and is why Metro is trying so hard to have their “own” security team. Until LA and California decides to deal with the homeless situation and get their hands dirty and do what is necessary to get those who are troubled into rehab, even by force, the system will not be safe nor be healthy for the commuters. Metro has the answers but they want to play games with the commuters and look like they are addressing the challenges.

  16. Why does this page display hopelessly out of date items from 2010 and 2014? That’s just really bad page management!

  17. I don’t know what’s more funny here: People whining and moaning about having to spend an extra 1.5 seconds to tap out, saying “it’ll cost money” when the turnstiles have been there the entire time, or the fact that Metro is hiding behind the fact that this is the first step to FINALLY implement Distance Based fares on the rail lines. . . Half baked of course. . . and under the guise of security.

    Of course Tap to exit isn’t to going to increase security, why would you even believe this is the point!!! There’s a reason why the sheriff goes after Metrolink fare evaders but not Metro Rail. A part from the fact that the other counties overlooking Metrolink actually care, their base fares are actually somewhat worth going after, ain’t no cop gonna risk their lives for $1.75, so stop advocating for cheap and free fares and finally implement distance based fares already.

    And spare me the “think about the poor” excuse, there are plenty of existing and new opportunities for those that actually need the system to stay at $1.75 or less.

  18. This is long overdue and it should’ve been done the moment TAP was introduced. Everywhere in the world that gets transit right does this and does distance based fares, it’s time Metro starts learning what the best in the world are doing instead of listening to loud vocal activists who scream about free fareless fares. Latch all of them up, tap in to enter, tap out to exit, do the same for buses and put officers at the emergency exits so they don’t abuse those exits as well.

  19. My digital TAP card often does not work. Metro is aware of this problem but does nothing to fix the problem. How is this going to work?

  20. Tapping out is a great idea, glad to see Metro trying it out. Yes, plenty of people use the gates, but not when the police are there. Also for people who enter from voluntary platforms like on the light rail system and transfer to the subway its another way to gather fare. Finally, its just a best practice and if you can tie the entry and exit points you get better transportation data.

  21. Another joke of a program by Metro. No one taps their card (if they even have one) to enter the system as it is – why the hell would they tap it to get out? Whether or not a valid fare has been paid is something which can be assessed immediately and automatically at the entry gate; no tap at an exit is necessary. If only you would lock the turnstiles, and have the stations monitored during business hours, the percentage of fare compliance would go up from present figures – WAY up. Please don’t keep making this any more complicated than is necessary – which is to say, not at all.

  22. I often use North Hollywood station and have a physical disability that affects hand use. Having to tap yet again is an extra obstacle for me in using the trains and makes it more likely that I’ll miss the G Line connection (which is already heavily affected by elevator availability).

  23. You need to install a fare inspector box behind every turnstile from open to close so they can see who is tapping and who isn’t. Also turn on the alarms on the emergency exits to alert security who are supposedly monitoring the fare gates.

  24. Tapping out is a great idea, glad to see Metro trying it out. Yes, plenty of people use the gates, but not when the police are there. Also for people who enter from voluntary platforms like on the light rail system and transfer to the subway its another way to gather fare. Finally, its just a best practice and a way to get better usage data, if you can tie the entry and exit points you get better transportation data.

  25. Metro will literally do everything except the one thing that studies have shown ACTUALLY works: higher frequency with shorter headways.

    Stop listening to the latest Nextdoor complaint and actually follow reality. They literally sent the National Guard to the MTA and it didn’t change ANYTHING except to make it less convenient. Wake the hell up.

    • Higher frequencies and shorter headways can only come with better fare enforcement and higher farebox recovery ratios. There’s a reason why all the better systems in the world like London and Tokyo have what you want have been using a tap to enter/tap to exit system from the beginning. Look at Taipei. They started operations in 1996 which was 7 years later than LA Metro, and they zoomed us by with better transit than we do, and the reason is because they didn’t go with fareless, they didn’t go with tap-in only, they went with tap-in and tap-out from the start.

  26. oh great someone just got stabbed at a Lynwood metro stop. if only tapping out was already in motion, it could have prevented this violent act!

  27. Currently, we need to enter the station by 2 hours after tapping in to use the transfer window, but will we need to tap out within 2 hours?

  28. every morning at the NoHo station there are usually about a half dozen police just standing around doing literally nothing. i’ve seen people straight up hop the turnstiles in front of the police and they say and do nothing. they are completely useless and a frustrating use of our tax money. the point of all that is – if there is no enforcement of policies to begin with, what exactly will this change do for someone like me?

  29. Metro just needs to ensure that evaders won’t use the Emergency Exit Gates to enter/leave the station like they do now…

    • And the fact it’s taken almost 2 decades to reach this point is a bit depressing in itself. All this should have been implemented by 2010 at the latest when TAP was Still relatively new to LA, but in typical government fashion. Here we are. This is typical noise that will calm down and by the end of the year. Assuming Metro stays proactive on this one, they’ll have everything in place to implement this system wide.

  30. Other rail systems require exit validation because their fares are calculated by distance, and have machines that allow customers to add exit fare if necessary. LA Metro only has the flat entry fee, and no ability to add fare to cards while inside the gates.

    Deducting fare at exit could also potentially double charge a rider whose 2hr transfer window runs out while on the train to North Hollywood. That window is for passengers to initiate their rides, not end them.

  31. Please explain how the “TAP to Exit” ensures passenger safety while they are on the trains?

    I take the “E” (Expo) line from West LA to near downtown, there are a few stations which have turnstiles. All others are on the “honor” system. Quite frankly, even the turnstiles don’t prevent non-paying passengers from entering the station. They simply jump the turnstile or go through the handicap gate when someone else taps their card. I see very few people tap their cards where there aren’t turnstiles. Savvy passengers who don’t pay their fare, just get on/off at stations without turnstiles (or jump the turnstile).

    How about putting more officers on public transit, including undercover officers/those in plain/street clothes? Anytime I’ve seen a uniformed officer on the train, they are either complaining with their peer about being assigned to Metro, or they are busy on their personal phones. I’ve never once seen a police officer ask a passenger to turn off their music, stop throwing trash on the floor, etc. In fact, I once saw a guy urinate on either the red or purple line, look at the officer, who simply shrugged and said to the guy “when you gotta go, you gotta go”. If police/safety officers don’t do anything, how on earth do you expect passengers to feel safe? Using the Metro App to report incidents is a joke, I’ve never once had an officer respond to an incident I’ve reported on the app, including the urination incident.

    Rarely have I seen officers check TAP cards, they may glance at the card, but they don’t actually check to see if the passenger has actually tapped the card/paid for their journey. At least the Sheriff officers used to check the card with their little gadget and issue citations.

    I am fortunate enough to have a flexible work day and have now changed my schedule so I am on the train during off-peak hours, when there are less passengers, although I still don’t feel 100% safe. Something has to be done to protect the fare paying passenger and I’m not sure checking TAP cards at turnstiles will accomplish this task.

    • police on train cars have only resulted in higher incidents of police violence against otherwise innocent civilians — not a single use case has resulted in lower crime outcomes. we’ve *had* officers on the Red and Expo lines back before the pandemic doing exactly what you wanted and it changed nothing. we’ve already done this!

      “when there are less passengers” — that is when the subway is least safe. it is more safe when there are MORE passengers. every single study of existing subway networks has borne this out.

      I understand your frustration but you’re looking in the wrong direction if you want better safety.

  32. How will this apply to Metrolink customers? Will you still be able to scan your ticket at the turnstile to exit?

    • “Metrolink riders may present their valid fare to our Transit Security Officers or use the paid area gate intercoms next to the fare gates to exit”

      Straight from this Article

      This likely explains why they are starting in NoHo instead of Union Station where it makes more sense. Compared to NoHo, if this was implemented at Union Station, the lines to get out for Metrolink riders would be quite long.

  33. You do know that a lot of people exiting at NoHo don’t go through the turnstiles right? They use the emergency exit or the accessible exit, especially to leave through the main portal. The emergency exit makes no noise, and it’s the closest to the trains. Once it’s open, everyone uses it.

  34. This is a waste of time and money. Part of the putting on a show but not actually enforcing the rules. Already, a majority of non-paying thieves just use the access gates to enter/exit as they please. If there is no enforcement of the laws/rules, there is no incentive to follow them. It’s human nature.

  35. Rediculous, why add more requirements on the law abiding, decent citezens who obey the law?

    The system needs to prevent the rif raf from getting in!

  36. This is nice, but you really need to improve the security *on* the system, meaning the buses and trains we ride. I’ve never seen any kind of security presence on a bus and the occasional police 1-stop train ride doesn’t do much. Maybe it’s time to bring back conductors?

    • Hi, thank you for your feedback. We are currently developing a plan (to be presented to the Board in Spring 2024) that will outline what an in-house public safety department would look like, should the Board approve creating one. This will explore staffing, deployment, costs and more. -Metro Social

      • This is already being done around the world. Is it really that inconvenient for Americans to take an extra 1.5 seconds to tap again?

        Sure I’ll agree that more needs to be done in regards to security, but don’t kid yourself.